Stenhousemuir man sent death threats to woman via Falkirk Council complaints section

Jamie Bell appeared at Falkirk Sheriff Court last week
Jamie Bell appeared at Falkirk Sheriff Court last week

A man used an online complaints forum to post a torrent of threatening and abusive messages aimed at a Falkirk Council employee.

Jamie Bell (31) detailed how he wanted to stab and burn Sheryl Hughes in two messages he sent to the local authority under fake names.

Appearing at Falkirk Sheriff Court last Thursday, Bell, 50 Carronview, Stenhousemuir, had admitted engaging in a course of conduct which caused Ms Hughes fear or alarm by repeatedly contacting her workplace and making offensive remarks and threats of violence towards her on October 29, 2017.

In the initial message, Bell, who the court heard was a former schoolmate of Ms Hughes, pretended to be a woman whom she was friends with. When the message was relayed to Ms Hughes by her employers, she said she had no reason to believe this person would make such comments.

Falkirk Council then contacted police following a subsequent chilling post, made under another false female name, about Ms Hughes which caused her to become “extremely concerned”.

Procurator fiscal depute Samantha Brown said: “An inquiry was carried out, ruling out the potential woman involved.

“The complainer herself contacted police on November 22 stating she had received an email directly to the high school in which she works and as a result of that email the complainer provided the accused’s details as someone she used to be friends with.

“The content gave rise to her thinking the accused was responsible for the messages. Various inquiries were carried out to try to establish the IP addresses and the accused was traced on February 1 and was detained by police.

“He was then interviewed and made certain admissions about the messages that were submitted to the council by him.”

The court heard Bell has “significant psychiatric” issues and is receiving treatment voluntarily. Sheriff Derek Livingston deferred sentencing until December 31 to call for a psychiatric report.